Chocolate Starfish will be back in Perth on 14 and 15 September, continuing their Classic Album Series with their take on INXS’s Kick.
Around The Sound traded words with the Starfish’s front man, Adam Thompson.
“We started the Classic Album Series three years ago with Bat out of Hell, reflects Thompson. The title track was my go to song in the 90’s when a PA system would breakdown (as they inevitably do) and I had to entertain the crowd till it was fixed. I’d do it a cappella.”
"Over the years, we had a chat as a band and decided that, if we learned it properly it would make a great side project to our original material. It did! And it really showcased the theatrical side of Starfish well. On the back of the success of Bat Out Of Hell, we thought we’d do a different classic album every three years.”
“So now we’re on the road with INXS’s, Kick.”
“Doing Kick was actually the suggestion of our agent in Sydney, and it was a damned good one! But I need to be clear that I don't try to be Michael (Hutchence) and it’s not a tribute. We play Kick with a lot of Chocolate Starfish energy and theatre and it’s basically ‘Fish fans favourite band playing one of Australia's favourite albums.”
At this point, we couldn’t help but ask if it was just a little bit daunting takin on such an iconic Aussie album by one of the country’s best know and loved bands.
Thompson’s reply? “It was, and it wasn’t. Compared to Bat Out Of Hell, it’s a much easier sing for me, but perhaps musically more unique for the rest of the band. I think, though, our challenge was to find the fine line between honouring the album and band and providing our own sense of integrity. After three packed houses in the last three shows, it is resonating big time with audiences.”
“Also, when someone like Michael passes, there’s a sense of both the untouchable and fondness, so I am constantly aware that I need to remain true to myself.”
So, we can expect reverence and Chocolate Starfish’s unique take on the songs on the album and, if the reviews so far are anything to go by, the Perth shows are going to be monstrously good.
Asked if there would be any surprises along the way, Thompson fires back, “Some big surprises of course, otherwise it wouldn't be a Starfish show! Prepare for the Sermon on the Mount during Mediate.”
Don’t say you haven’t been warned!
Playing a whole album, we wondered if that was relevant in these modern times of short attention spans and sound bytes.
“Terrific question. (Why. thank you.) I think as an artist, yes, it’s truly important. We are escalating our lives so rapidly we have lost appreciation for art and expect everything to be homogenised into sound bytes or vignettes. Albums take you on a journey and that’s what's important How many holidays have you been on where you were so busy immersing quickly in every experience that in the end you hardly felt like the experience sunk in? The older and wiser, hopefully, I get, the more I think that time to fully experience something deeply is more important that a quick fix.”
Whatever sort of fix takes your fancy, these are going to be unique shows. There’s a good bit of audacity in what Chocolate Starfish are doing with their Classic Album Series, and that’s a fine ting indeed in these, sometimes, safe times. Punters will also get to hear a selection of the Starfish’s own hits along the way. Definitely worth a couple of hours of your time on a Friday or Saturday night, we think.
Friday 14 September: Doors 7pm, Northshore Tavern, 66/470 Whitfords Avenue, Hillarys
Saturday 15 September: Doors 8pm, The Charles Hotel, Charles Street North Perth.
Tickets: Ticketmaster.com.au, from the bottle shop or at the door, if available.